Society

The Discomfort with Dismantling

A few years ago, my husband and I began exploring the possibility of moving into a new home. Having done a bit of research, we identified neighborhoods and entered our preferences into an online search bar, along with our price limits. We were disappointed by how few homes met our qualifications, but were excited to find a single, promising, slightly suspicious possibility: a spacious home, in a t...

Black lives don’t matter because my kids are black.

Black Lives Matter, because black lives matter…because black lives matter…because black lives matter. I am a white woman, and I have two little girls whose skin does not match mine. Their father is black, and my girls are beautifully bi-racial. If you didn’t know I was their biological mother, you’d see them as two curly-haired, brown-eyed black girls, and not notice the particular markers I added...

Fair trade is a critical first step.

Looking out at seemingly endless miles of coffee trees near Taratung, Indonesia, baking in the sun, I was transfixed by the workers slaving away, drenched in sweat, and only paid a pittance for their work. I thought back to the cooperative I visited earlier that morning. There in the shade, a family had been processing cherries and drying the beans. They laughed. They shared stories. They had me t...

What I Learned from Real Fair Trade Farmers

No matter where you go on the good ole’ interwebs, you’re bound to find opposing views on fair trade practices. Fair trade was implemented with the intention of protecting the little guy—the small farmer, the artisan, who didn’t have lots of money behind their craft. The point was to put a fair amount of money in the producer’s pockets. Whether or not it works is, and always has been, up for debat...

Can I still raise confident daughters?

I think the future of social media should scare new parents. In the future, this culture of constant comparison, façade of perfection, and desire to get endless reactions from those around us will be placed into the hands of our children. These perfect little people who have had each month of life documented with chalk board art and details of their every behavior. Children who unknowingly have em...

Teens and Tech: Have you done your homework?

Last night I stole all of the technological devices in the house. My parents are traveling for a few days and I’m the adult daughter visiting home and playing “mom” for my three younger siblings. They’re all teenagers. School, basketball game, forensic practice, church, dinner, laundry, grocery store, “clean your room”, homework help, basketball game again. I have a whole new appreciation for how ...

Education

What do Christians think about education? Is education compatible with Christian faith? Aren’t Christians those weird people who keep their children as ignorant as possible and think of science as an invention of the devil? Well, no, that’s not us—in spite of a few crackpots in the news. (And every human group has crackpots.) Christians believe that education is a good thing—more than that, that i...

Prayer in Public Schools—The Laws Make Sense

Every year of high school I met with my fellow Christian classmates and friends during the designated Wednesday in September. We met to pray for our country. We met to pray for our school. We met to pray for each other. We met to prove that the First Amendment still gave us the right to profess our faith, even if a Supreme Court decision said we could not have school-wide corporate prayer. Most of...

Putting Religion Back in Our Schools

It’s about time we put religion back in our schools. Now, hold on…I’m not talking about what you think I’m talking about. The separation of church and state is important. I truly believe that prayer, theology, and religious practices are not meant to permeate the boundaries of our secular institutions—school, the halls of government, etc. But that doesn’t mean we should take religious education—te...

I’d like to say I’m surprised by Charlottesville. But I’m not.

Writing a public piece on social justice, in our current climate, during this moment in history feels like a weight—one I have not yet earned the right to carry. Yes, I’m alive in this moment watching, alongside the rest of the world, to see how our country navigates our way through the minefield of systematic, historical, covert, and poisonous racism. But the topic is complex, possessing a histor...

Birth of an Activist

I’m willing to bet that at least a few of you have yelled nasty words at me while wagging your clinched fists, and damning me to hell for making you late for work. No? Don’t remember me? I can’t say that I blame you. At the moment where we locked eyes, I was probably just another link in a human chain or another hastily drawn sign held high above a crowd of surly rabble-rousers. Yup, that’s me. I’...

The Poverty Line

I am poor. I have food, I have clothing, I have shelter. I have a job. I just financed a car. I have a kitten, I donate to the ACLU and I am still paying off my student loans and a credit card. On paper it all looks ok, but I know the truth. I am fighting every day for these things. Let’s say I lost my job tomorrow or I was injured and became unable to work. I don’t have enough saved to last me a ...

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